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Multifunctional Ferroic Materials

The overall objective of the group is to acquire a broad knowledge of physical phenomena in functional materials with an aim of discovering new general concepts, clearing the way for both understanding and applications. 

The research group stands in the general context of functional materials, which possess one or more physical properties (functions) that can be used in applications. Many of our studies focus on ABO3 perovskite-type oxides. Perovskites exhibit an extraordinary broad range of structures, chemical bonding and physical properties, e.g. magnetism, ferroelectricity, superconductivity, semiconducting ... Such properties can be varied (tuned) - and thus optimized to generate various devices with great performance and diverse functionalities - thanks to many parameters. Examples of such parameters are temperature, pressure, light, nano-size effect, external magnetic and electrical fields, atomic substitution, chemical ordering or stress. 

Some functional properties are called ferroic. The term ferroic unifies common characteristics of ferromagnetic, ferroelectric, ferroelastic or ferrotoroidic materials. Often their relatives, antiferroelectrics and antiferromagnets, are also counted as ferroics. The prefix ferro refers historically to iron (ferrum in Latin), which shows a spontaneous magnetization M that can be controlled (and switched) by the application of a magnetic field. Individually, ferroic properties are already of great interest both for their basic physics and for their technological applications, such as memories, sensors, actuators etc. Further to this, multiferroic materials are a special class of ferroics as they simultaneously possess several ferroic orders and are thus considered multifunctional materials per excellence. These are particularly interesting for us. 

The group stands in the context of an FNR-PEARL Chair, as illustrated here

We collaborate closely with the group Ferroic Materials for Transducers of the Dept. Materials Research and Technology of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST).